Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins
I’ve been away for a few days and this was the first of my holiday reads. When I got to my destination, I handed my kindle to my travel buddy and got her to pick a book for me to read. She picked this. Mostly because I’d gotten her Anna for her birthday and she knew I’d read it, and also because last time we went on holiday together, we attended several literature panels hosted by Stephanie Perkins. So, she thought I’d enjoy this.
And I both did and didn’t.
Here’s the thing, if I have to read one more sentence about some white middle class kid who thinks that they have a hard life because two guys are interested in them and their parents love them, I’m gonna cut a bitch.
I don’t know what it is about this book, I liked it and was incredibly critical of it at the same time. See, it wound me up no end, but was also oddly compelling. Anna started out being a little bit similar for me, I found her to be a bit whiney at the beginning, but her relationship development with St Clair was worth the wait and I found myself really loving it come the end, something that didn’t happen with Lola.
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion…she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood. When Cricket–a gifted inventor–steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
Don’t get me wrong, the book was compelling and no matter how annoying it got, I didn’t want to stop reading, there was just so much ridiculous in it I had to pause every now and again to do just as Emma is doing above.
Lola is one of the most annoying characters I have ever come across. I appreciated the fact that she was very much like Andie in Pretty in Pink with her costumes which was very cool, but that was about the only thing I really liked about her. She was just so damn whiney.
So, slightly spoilery bits to follow, you know the drill, if you don’t want to know, when you see River, stop reading.
Even when Lola is happy with her boyfriend and her parents are awesome and worried about her, she gets in a state about the fact that the Bell twins who she once was friends with have moved back in across the street. This is all because Calliope (the girl) hates her and Cricket (the boy) was her first crush and so begins a tirade of OH MY GOD BUT CRICKET BROKE MY HEART AND CALLIOPE IS A BITCH – can I just pause a minute to say wtf is with those names? These are some of the stupidest names known to man! – In actual fact, the problem between Lola and Cricket (who names their child Cricket?!) could have been solved two years before the book started in a ten second conversation. That was how stupid it was and precisely why I was making the Emma face.
The constant umming and ahhing that Lola then does between the stupidly named Cricket and her boyfriend, Max, grated on me a little but not enough for me to want to throw my kindle across the room. I absolutely adored the cameos from Anna and St Clair, I loved the extra insight into their relationship and it really put Lola’s teenage ridiculous into perspective.
It did get better towards the end and was definitely very cute. It just took a really long time to get there. The last two or three chapters were the best of the bunch and I kind of wish the whole book had been a bit more like that. Having said that, I didn’t dislike this in the slightest and Stephanie Perkins is both adorable (especially with her acknowledgements) and wonderful to follow on Twitter so it’s not going to put me off reading Isla and the Happily Ever After.
In a few days I’ll write up a big review of the Harry Potter studio tour and the other slightly bookish things I did whilst away! Woo!